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Thoughts on…..month 48! Four years without a wage!

Woohooooo! Today is a wonderful and frankly amazing anniversary. On this day, four years ago, I received my last pay cheque……I challenged myself to live off my land for one year…..I think I can now say I did it! Thank you all so much for coming along with me.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Carrots, Parsnips, Leeks & bees.

On another stunningly gorgeous day in late Spring I carry on catching up with my garden and my sowings. Today it’s all about the carrots (Autumn King), the Leeks (Mussleburgh), the Parsnips (Tender and True) and my ‘gold’ crop….Calendula. I am kept company all morning by garden friends, birds and bees…..please come and join us.

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On the Sofa: Yes, I’m moving soon(ish)

In my last couple of videos I’ve briefly referred to moving home. Yes, I am going to move……I can’t do all the stairs at the Cottage in the Sky much longer….there are days when all the stairs put me off leaving my home and that’s not good…I’m being practical, sensible….future proofing myself. It will be so hard to leave this place….but I am looking forward and beginning to get rather excited.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Repairs, experiment & sowings.

We’re still having fairly chilly nights so I’m holding off doing any direct sowing and it gives me a chance to catch-up with my bed prep plus lots of other small jobs. There are a few repairs to be done including my plot number sign post……more seeds to sow in the coldframe (brassicas)….and an experiment to test the horse manure I recently bought. I’m testing it for the herbicide Aminopyralid which could massively affect my growing this year if it is present.

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TIY: Frugal Cleaning. Cleaning an old oven without harsh chemicals.

Oh dear! My oven is in a shockingly filthy state as I simply forget to clean it…….so a few years worth of grime have built up and baked on. I want to clean this old oven without the use of harsh chemicals so I am going to try using Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) and elbow grease. Let’s see how clean I can get it….. I should add: this isn’t a quick ‘how to’ video but rather a chatty one as I’m talking about why I’m doing this…..

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: April Garden Tour (’21).

It was with some trepidation that I went back to the garden to look at the state of things at the beginning of April… absences this year have been much longer than in previous years. I feel like I have missed a huge chunk of time…..let’s have a tour of the garden together and see what can be done to get back on track.

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On the Sofa: Customer services & books.

It may be chilly but it’s a beautifully bright day…and that brightness brings with it a huge dollop of optimism. It has been a very busy few days so I need a few minutes of time out…..but lovely things have been happening…..including some wonderful customer services for once!

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Peppers, tomatoes & celery.

It’s time to get back on with things for the garden……I’m playing catch-up sowing my tomatoes and celery a little later than usual…..and sharing my top tips for the celery which can be a total faff to prick out and pot on. The peppers which were started in the middle of February are looking fine but definitely need to move into bigger pots…..

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Beyond Frugal: Shopping haul – £8.60 ($11.89)

One of my most frequently asked for videos over the years…here it is…my weekly shopping haul spending up to £10 ($13.83) for everything including food, cleaning stuff, clothes, travel and entertainment……. I am a little nervous to share this as I don’t think it will be what’s expected…….but this is it, this is how I live my happy, no compromise, shopping life. Please remember, this is how I live, these are my ethics….I am not saying everyone should do the same and I realise, for anyone without a vegetable garden, that this will probably be impossible. I am forever grateful to have space to grow my own food and appreciate that folk who don’t have a garden will have to fork out much more money than me simply to feed themselves.